Canadian Official Guide
Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law
Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law, located in the beautiful maritime city of Halifax, is the oldest university-based common-law law school in the British Commonwealth. In 2008, the Schulich School of Law celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding. It is one of the three common law schools in Atlantic Canada and enjoys a stellar reputation for scholarship and innovation. Dalhousie is a national school and accepts large numbers of students from all parts of the country. Over the years, graduates of Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law have had a distinguished influence on the development of law, legal education, and public institutions throughout Canada and internationally. Its JD degree is recognized for the purposes of bar admission in all common law provinces.
- 1,700 applicants
- 175 enrolled first-year class
- 494 total full time
- 7 part time
- 10 provinces represented
- 97 total
- 37 full time
- 60 part time or adjunct
- 17 full-time women
- 2 full-time minority
- 293,677 library volumes and equivalents
- Library hours: Mon.–Wed., 8:00 am–10:45 pm; Thurs., 8:00 am–8:00 pm; Fri., 8:00 am–4:30 pm; Sat., noon–6:00 pm; Sun., noon–10:45 pm. Library hours are extended during the exam periods.
- Learning commons with 28 workstations, as well as printers, scanner, digital microform reader/printer, and adaptive technology for physically challenged users
- Computer laboratory with 40 workstations and high-speed printing facilities
- Wireless access and printing throughout the library building
- Quiet study rooms
- Professional staff—5; support staff—6
- Electronic access to all major Canadian and American legal databases and over 2,500 electronic journals and e-books
The Sir James Dunn Law Library reopened in the summer of 1989 adjacent to the Weldon Law Building following a serious fire in 1985. The combination of a professional staff, a solid collection, and the latest in technology has created an excellent environment in which to pursue the study of law.
The library collection in both print and digital form supports the teaching and research interests of the faculty, law students, and the graduate law student program at both the master's and doctoral level. In addition, the library collection supports the scholarly and research programs of the Health Law Institute, the Maritime and Environmental Law Institute, and the Law and Technology Institute affiliated with the Faculty of Law. The International Law collection and the Maritime and Environmental Law collection are particularly strong and attract scholars and researchers from around the world.
- Academic Support Program
- 90 credits required to graduate
- 90 courses available
- Degrees available—JD, LLM, JSD, JD/MBA, JD/MPA, JD/MLIS, JD/MHSA
- Range of first-year class size—18–175
The first-year program is entirely compulsory and includes an eight-week course orienting students to the study of law by introducing them to four fundamental perspectives on the law: the comparative, the historical, the philosophical, and the professional. The second and third years of the program are, for the most part, optional. Compulsory courses are limited to Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law, and Civil Procedure.
Students have the opportunity to concentrate their studies in one of four areas: health law, business law, marine and environmental law, and law and technology.
Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law is known for its offerings in the marine and environmental law area, with emphasis on the law of the sea. The Marine and Environmental Law Institute now offers numerous courses in marine and environmental law and related areas—perhaps the largest curricular offering within the field in North America. The Law School is also known for its two other research institutes: the Law and Technology Institute and the Health Law Institute. Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law is home to three prestigious journals: the Dalhousie Law Journal, the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, and the Ocean Yearbook.
The Law School offers a legal aid clinic which, in addition to a comprehensive seminar program, provides a practical educational experience emphasizing the development of professional skills and the refinement of substantive and procedural knowledge in a real-life context of individual cases.
Students may participate in one of several national and international mooting programs. As well, the school has established exchange programs with a number of universities in North America and abroad. Selected students may do one term at these schools for academic credit at Dalhousie.
- Minimum of two years of university required
- Application deadline—(2) November 29 and February 28
- Rolling admission
- LSAT required
- Multiple LSATs—highest score used
- Application fee—$70
In addition to submitting LSAT scores, university transcripts, and an application form, candidates must arrange for at least two letters of reference and must submit a personal statement indicating why they wish to attend law school and what qualities they think they will bring. Applications are reviewed by a committee composed of both faculty and student members. Most offers of admission are made on the basis of the information in the student's application. However, in some circumstances, the admissions committee may require applicants to have an interview. The decision to interview rests with the committee. The interviews take place in May and June, and in recent years, have been conducted in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.
Most applicants have obtained an undergraduate degree before they begin law school, though applicants who have just two years of university work will be considered if their academic standing is exceptionally high. Achievements in extracurricular and employment activities are an asset for all applicants, and candidates who, despite economic, cultural, racial, or ethnic disadvantages, have made exceptional contributions to the community or who have shown exceptional capacity to respond to challenges, may be given special consideration. First Nations applicants, who do not meet the regular admissions criteria, may be admitted upon the successful completion of the Native Law Program in Saskatchewan. Special consideration is given to applicants who are members of Nova Scotia's black or Mi'kmaq communities. A small number of students who do not meet the formal academic requirements for admission may be admitted provided they are at least 26 years of age and have demonstrated, by the length and quality of their nonacademic experience, the equivalent of the academic requirements.
All law students are members of the Law Students' Society which appoints representatives to faculty committees, arranges for speakers to visit the school, and organizes social events and programs. It also oversees publication of a law student newspaper, The Weldon Times, and the annual yearbook. The law school has an active sports and social program with something to appeal to most students. Some of the student organizations active at the school are the Association of Women and the Law, the Environmental Law Students' Society, the Society for the Advancement of Law and Technology, the John Read International Law Society, and the Speakers Committee. The Domus Legis Society, a pub open for membership to all law students and graduates, generally serves as a social center for law students.
The Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies is published by the law students.
Expenses and Financial Aid
- Tuition per year—full time, $15,247.80; half time, $9,144.26
- Extensive need-based and merit scholarships available
- Financial aid available
The school operates a Career Development Office, which provides resource material to assist students and graduates seeking articling positions, court clerkships, permanent jobs, summer jobs, and other law-related employment. Assistance with résumé writing is available, as well as general career counseling and information about graduate legal studies and scholarships. Annual recruitment surveys of law firms in most provinces are conducted. The Student Career Development Committee assists with on-campus interview days and career development seminars. Articling receptions are held by alumni in major cities to introduce students to practicing lawyers. Representatives from many law firms from across Canada travel to the Law School to conduct interviews.
Graduates of the Schulich School of Law find positions in every province and internationally.
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